Saturday, December 19, 2015

Doc Savage: The Secret of Satan's Spine -- Kenneth Robeson (Will Murray)

The one thing I'd like to see more of in Will Murray's new series of "the All-New Wild Adventures of Doc Savage" is a page or two in which Murray explains exactly how much of the book comes from Dent's original ideas or outlines or fragments.  All we get this time is the book's dedication: "For Charles Moran, the Doc Savage editor who killed this idea back in 1943 . . . ."  From this I infer that the idea was proposed by Dent or one of the other Kenneth Robesons but rejected.  It's a good idea, no matter whose it was, and I wonder why it was deep-sixed.

The seeting this time is 1943, when the world is involved in WWII, the Big One.  The story begins when an attractive young blonde woman attempts with some success to sidetrack Monk, who's supposed sail to England on the Northern Star for a consulting job.  Shenanigans ensue, and the woman is kidnapped.  Eventually Doc is brought into things, and he, Ham, and Monk wind up on the ship.  Many of the crew are members of a gang headed by a man called Diamond, but others of the crew turn out to be old friends of Doc.  Fans of the series will know them when they appear.  

There's a lot going on, including a mysterious and deadly sculpture, invisibility cloaking (Doc had it before Harry Potter), disguise, time spent in the brig, a takeover of the ship by Diamond and the gang, and plenty of fisticuffs and shooting.  Not to mention the Secret of Satan's Spine, which is a good one, for sure and which I of course will not reveal.  

All of this is leading up to climax when the monster hurricane that's been threatened through the story finally appears and wreaks mucho havoc.

As you've probably gathered by now, Will Murray's done it again, with a fast-paced story that's true to the spirit and style of the original adventures and is not to be missed by fans of the series.


George said...

I'm ordering this now! Like you, I've enjoyed Will Murray's DOC SAVAGE pastiches.

Fred Zackel said...

I love that: "Shenanigans ensued!!" I love books that have these!

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Never have read any of the Doc Savage series--old or new.

Unknown said...

It's the pure pulp.

-> Ray said...

The afterwords available in the hardcover editions usually provide the background of the source material Will Murray used in writing each novel.

Unknown said...

Ah-ha. I wish they'd put that in the paperbacks.